Meet The Team
Rachel Tweddle – Chief Executive Officer
Rachel began her career working with the community running an after school club in her hometown of Leyburn, North Yorkshire 20 years ago. This experience inspired her to plan a career with children and young people on completing her uni degree, 5 years later. By this time she’d moved to County Durham and began working with the Local Authority as an Education Welfare Officer, Connexions Adviser, Youth Worker and then Teacher. Rachel had great mentors at Staindrop School, who encouraged her to train as a Secondary Teacher. She continued to work in the community with Joe at TCR and Dianne Spark at UTASS. She also spent a few years at the YMCA in Barnard Castle and briefly managing Oxfam in the town for 12 months!
Since leaving formal education Rachel has not looked back and loves working in the voluntary sector. She still delivers the Duke of Edinburgh Award from the Hub, which she says helps to remind her what youth and community work is all about.
Rachel has worked hard alongside the staff team to ensure that the Hub is sustainable and a good quality resource for the region. “We are getting there and our profile is constantly rising. Managing a charity today can be tough – nothing can be taken for granted, the climate is forever changing and I have to be very enterprising in my approach to management.”
The effort is all worth it when we get a great review or feedback, and even a rare negative one pushes me to improve our service further!!”
Jonny Elliott – Assistant Manager
Jonny began volunteering for Teesdale Community Resources in 2012 not long after The Hub was established. He would come down every week and check the PPE for the canoeing and high ropes so they were ready for any sessions.Eventually He was offered a part time job, running sessions and groundskeeping and general building management. As The Hub became busier and busier and our staff team more specialised, it has made sense for him to go full time (even then he struggles to fit it in!). “It has been wonderful working for Teesdale Community Resources all of these years. I feel that I have gained an incredible amount of experience and many qualifications, which has helped me develop professionally.” “A major highlight so far has been to run activity days for Rainbows, Brownies and Guides annually which has now gained the name of Hubabaloo. Working with up to 90 children through out the day is an amazing, if not an exhausting experience!”
Sarah Gent joined the TCR Hub team in September 2020 to drive forward Family Activities as part of the National Lottery funded project. Her role was made permanent in 2023.
Sara enjoys working with local families to enable more people to access the fantastic facilities at the Hub whilst ensuring that there are things happening that people want to do!
Sarah has fifteen years of Marketing and Communications expertise, working for The Witham community arts centre in Barnard Castle from 2015 to 2020 as the Programming and Marketing Manager.
She is a Linocut artist as well as a trained English and Drama teacher so is able to facilitate workshops and devise exciting activities that will be of interest to children, young people and adults alike.
Tom Whittaker is Duty Manager at the TCR Hub and has a keen interest in the music department.
Tom has played the drums for over 14 years and has been in a number of bands. He taught drums at TCR before the Hub itself was built, whilst studying an A level in Music Technology. He left TCR in 2008 in order to go to university and graduated with a BA honours in Creative Music Technology.
Having worked in various projects Tom then moved to Middlesbrough where he worked on various freelance sound design projects.
Having returned to the Hub, Tom is now a key member of the team with many years experience of working at the TCR Hub.
Sandie Truten is the Hub’s Finance Assistant.
She works part-time and is usually at the Hub or working from home on a Monday. Sandie has been been part of the Hub team for around two and a half years. Sandie processes and prepares financial requirements for the purpose of facilitating purchases, arranging invoices and responding to queries.
Sandie moved to Teesdale from her native Glasgow around ten years ago and prior to moving worked as an Accounts Assistant for Harper Collins.
She combines her part time role at the Hub with another part time Accounts Assistant role for the local newspaper, the Teesdale Mercury.
As finance roles can be quite solitary, Sandie enjoys being part of the bigger team and loves that there is always a buzz about the Hub and the diversity that it can bring to her role – often no two weeks are the same!
Alison Mawer – Duke of Edinburgh Award Coordinator & Youth Worker
Alison first became involved with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at the hub when her eldest two children were working towards their awards. At first, she helped with the admin side of the award and then gradually became more involved working with the youngsters on all aspects on their award. Now she regularly assists with training and expeditions. She is now keen to gain more qualifications to become more involved with the expedition training.
‘I achieved my Gold DofE award when I was 18. I still have amazing memories of the experience and made great friends who I am still in touch with. My Aunty inspired me to get involved with the award as she was a DofE leader/assessor for many years and showed her enthusiasm for getting young people involved. I would now like to pass on my experience and enjoyment to the youngsters that come through The Hub’.
Although Alison’s background is working as a teacher in Primary Schools she enjoys working with teenagers and can use many of her skills needed in education for helping the youngsters achieve their award.
Louisa – Community Chef
Louisa is our community chef and is passionate about helping the local community through the medium of food. She makes food for our family social group, community lunches and utilises excess fareshare food to create a variety of dishes including soups and cakes, which are sometimes used in care packages and school projects. Louisa also bakes cakes for our breastfeeding support group and our tea and tots group.
Before Covid Louisa previously worked at the hub in the cafe and is pleased to be back working as part of the hub team.
In her spare time Louisa enjoys walking her two cocker spaniels and reading books, especially murder mysteries. She also loves listening to music, particularly Elvis, The Killers, Sam Fender and Jack Savoretti.
Fiona Cook – Family Activities
Fiona is a Family Activity Worker at the Hub. She is currently on maternity leave and we can’t wait to meet her baby once he or she is here.
She has started her role here by starting up and running the Community Funded Breastfeeding Group, a much needed group for local mums. She is excited to keep establishing this group but is also keen to get stuck in with the many other groups and activities running for families at the Hub.
Fiona completed her degree in Early Childhood Studies at Teesside University in 2016 and then went onto Teacher Training in local Primary Schools around Barnard Castle. She now combines her part-time role at the Hub alongside a similar role at a local museum in the Education Department. She has a passion for working with families and children and is enjoying her new career path, although it is very closely linked. Fiona loves being part of the small team at the Hub and has quickly learnt how busy but brilliant it can be!
Kelly Ewing – Youth Work Lead
Kelly’s role at The Hub is Youth Work Lead. She works part time planning and delivering all youth groups and activities. This includes the LGBTQ Group, Social Action and Music Space. Kelly also engages with Teesdale School pupils.
Kelly has been a familiar face at The Hub for the last 2 years where she has worked on various projects including the Trashion Show. Kelly also teaches sewing classes at The Hub ran through the WEA part time.
Kelly moved here from Leeds 4 years ago where she worked as a fashion designer. Kelly has an exciting and inspiring past designing for the stars and showing at London Fashion Week albeit self taught.
Her goal is to inspire the young people of Teesdale to follow their dreams and make a difference in the world.
Suzanne – Heritage Gardener
Suzanne’s role at The Hub is The Heritage Gardener, which is mainly voluntary. We are developing a Forest Garden of Memorial trees with layers of perennial edibles. She is working with our wonderful team of volunteer gardeners to achieve this within five years.
She uses her time in the grounds to grow herbs and plants that we can either eat or use for their healing properties. Suzanne loves to pass on plant knowledge and garden using traditional methods.
Working as a freelancer, Suzanne also leads garden workshops, here at The Hub, so that our community has access to these vital skills. It’s important to her that people can grow their own food, no matter the size of their growing space. With a little knowledge and a few seeds it’s amazing what you can actually do…
Her background is in catering so Suzanne is an expert at finding ways of using the plants that are grown in the kitchen too. To contact Suzanne, call TCR on 01833 690150.
Terri – Duty Manager
Terri has worked in a number of roles and brings a wealth of experience to the TCR Hub. She has a lot of experience of working with children enjoying various positions as a nursery nurse, a nanny and a play facilitator. Prior to starting work here she enjoyed coming along to the breastfeeding support group and tea and tots.
For the last 6 years Terri has worked in the family business until joining the TCR Hub in 2023.
When she started her main role was housekeeping for the 32 bed accommodation but she also had hours as a family activity worker and kitchen duties for events.
Recently she has taken on the role of duty manager and has tackled this role with enthusiasm and diligence.
She says, “Working here has made me realise my love for helping others and getting creative.”